The European Investment Bank is set to lend Ethiopia $200 million to build two industry parks that will employ 30,000 refugees in a move aimed at curbing migration to Europe. Ethiopia proposed the plan and the EIB said that 30,000 refugees will be included among the 100,000 people who will be employed altogether in the two parks. As part of the agreement, Ethiopia will grant the refugees employment rights; other jobs will be reserved for young Ethiopian job-seekers. The scheme will cost a total of $500 million and the World Bank, Britain, and other EU nations will provide the rest of the financing. Mr. Hoyer, the President of the European Investment Bank said in a statement on Wednesday (September 21) that “Ethiopia is for many a stopping point before making the dangerous onward journey to final destinations in Europe, and initiatives and projects like this provide people with a choice to stay closer to home and an opportunity for economic growth as well.” UK Prime Minister, Thesesa May, said the project would be a model for how to support poorer countries housing large numbers of migrants. Ethiopia currently hosts the largest number of refugees on the African continent, 0ver 7640,000, mainly from South Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia and many of the 160,000 from Eritrea in particular try to make the journey into North Africa and across the Mediterranean to Europe. The European Union says more than 33,000 Eritreans sought asylum in Europe last year.
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